Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Hold Labs Accountable for Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer

Aggressive representation for patients whose signs were missed

To detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages, the accepted clinical recommendation is for women to get a Pap smear every three years and a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years. If you have done this and received a clean bill of health, you should have peace of mind that you are disease free.  But what if the clinician who read your test missed an obvious sign and you developed cervical cancer as a result? In many cases, misreading a diagnostic test is medical malpractice, and you are entitled to compensation for your unnecessary suffering and your economic losses related to the disease. If this has happened to you, trust Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.

Lab errors leading to a missed diagnosis of cervical cancer

Because patients generally do not experience cervical cancer symptoms until the disease has progressed, regular screening is an important preventative measure. As mentioned above, Pap smears and HPV tests are routine but vital tools in early cervical cancer detection. A physician might also perform a colposcopy, which is a visual examination of tissue under magnification, a biopsy of suspect cells, or a cone biopsy (conization), which allows a lab to examine deeper layers of cervical cells.

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen at any stage of these tests and during the processing of the results, such as:

  • Improperly using Pap smears as a cervical cancer diagnostic tool rather than as a screening test
  • Lab errors while handling specimens
  • Misreading Pap smear slide or biopsy specimens

Reasons for the mishandling of these tests, the specimens, and the results vary, but include:

  • Inattention
  • Improper or inadequate training
  • Lab work conducted by overworked lab technicians and pathologists

Damage to patients due to missed cervical cancer diagnoses

A failure to diagnose cervical cancer at an early, highly treatable stage can unfairly and unnecessarily subject the patient to the ravages of the disease. A woman may experience vaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, and pelvic pain, especially during intercourse. The advance of the disease may require the woman to undergo a hysterectomy.

Left untreated, cervical cancer can metastasize in the pelvis, lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. This leads to symptoms of advanced cervical cancer, such as:

  • Back pain
  • Bone fractures
  • Fatigue
  • Leakage of urine or feces from the vagina
  • Leg pain or swelling
  • Weight loss

When the disease progresses, patients have limited options for treatment, and that treatment usually causes much harsher side effects. One option is external beam radiation, often combined with chemotherapy, which is known to cause a variety of painful symptoms, including:

  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Leukopenia (decrease in white blood cells)
  • Infection
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Radiation cystitis
  • Skin damage
  • Vaginal pain

The pain and suffering the patient experiences because a negligent lab made a mistake that led to a missed diagnosis is compensable. Our attorneys fight for your right to recover full damages for your losses.

Tragically, advanced cervical cancer is often fatal. In such cases, our lawyers can pursue an action for wrongful death to hold the negligent parties accountable.

Grounds for a malpractice action for failure to diagnose cervical cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cervical cancer since 2013, and you had been receiving regular pelvic examinations up to the time of the diagnosis, you should immediately seek legal assistance for your claim.

Trust our malpractice lawyers to pursue justice for your cervical cancer case

If you developed cervical cancer because of a failed diagnosis, Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban will fight to obtain the maximum possible compensation. Call us today at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. For your convenience, we have offices throughout North Carolina, South Carolina & Virginia.